Clinical audit in the National Health Service: fact or fiction?

J Eval Clin Pract. 1996 Feb;2(1):29-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.1996.tb00026.x.


It is increasingly recognized that the repeated rhetorical emphasis from 1989 to date on achieving measurable benefits to patients from audit, in the face of inattention to the development of methodologies with which to realize such benefits in operational practice, has represented a serious deficiency in strategic planning and direction and a consequent failure to establish functional clinical audit within the NHS. A grand revision of strategy is therefore necessary, and this should begin with the development of a research-based method of audit, the training of clinicians and audit support staff in its use and a subsequent trial of its effectiveness prior to its implementation within the NHS. Only then will measurable improvements become possible, value for money be assured and clinicians' attitudes to audit change.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Planning
  • Humans
  • Medical Audit / organization & administration*
  • Research
  • State Medicine / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom